Patriots begin mandatory minicamp Tuesday

ESPN Photo

The Patriots are about to begin a mandatory team minicamp tomorrow, which runs through Thursday. This figures to be the first opportunity for the whole team to practice on the same field next to each other. OTAs, while encouraged, are technically not mandatory and each team usually has a few absences every year. That should change on Tuesday.

Like OTAs, the players are not in full pads and won't have full contact practices (though some contact will be allowed). The biggest difference is that the team will move to having two 3 1/2 hour practices each day. The first will work through drills and scrimmages, while the second is limited strictly to walkthrough activities.

While the practices are not open to the public like training camp and certain OTA dates, the media will be out in force to cover the team. This week should be one of the more exciting times of the offseason as we get to hear about the entire roster working together for the first time this year. After the mandatory practices wrap up Thursday, the team will have three more OTAs (June 12, 13, and 15) before taking six weeks of summer break. At the end of that, training camp will begin and the coaching staff will start trimming the final roster for the start of the season in September.

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